Formula One, abbreviated to F1, is the highest class of open-wheeled auto racing defined by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), motorsport's world governing body. The "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules to which all participants and cars must conform. The F1 World Championship season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, held usually on purpose-built circuits, and in a few cases on closed city streets. The polesitter is the driver that has qualified for a Grand Prix in pole position, at the front of the starting grid. Out of the 1,073 completed Grands Prix (as of the 2022 Italian Grand Prix), the driver that has qualified on pole position has gone on to win the race 452 times.
Qualifying is traditionally contested on the Saturday of a Grand Prix weekend to determine the drivers' positions on the starting grid of the race held the next day (although starting from 2021, in a small number of the events, so-called sprint races are held on the Saturdays, in which case the qualifying session is held on the Fridays of those Grand Prix weekends, and it's the pole-sitter of the sprint race who is officially awarded the pole position in those events). Historically, there have been a number of different qualifying systems; previously, each driver was only allowed a single lap to set his qualifying time. Drivers currently have to compete in three rounds before pole position is determined. The first round, known as Q1, is contested by twenty drivers in an 18-minute session, at the end of which the five slowest cars are eliminated. This is followed by Q2, a 15-minute session, where the slowest five are again eliminated. The remaining ten cars contest Q3, the final 12-minute session to determine their places on the grid and who will sit on pole position.
Lewis Hamilton holds the record for the most pole positions, having qualified first on 103 occasions. Michael Schumacher is second with 68 pole positions. Ayrton Senna is third with 65 poles. Senna holds the record for the most consecutive pole positions; he qualified in first place in eight Grands Prix in a row from the 1988 Spanish Grand Prix to the 1989 United States Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel is the youngest polesitter; he was 21 years, 72 days old when he qualified in first place for the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. The oldest person to qualify in pole position was Nino Farina, who was 47 years, 79 days old when he was polesitter for the 1954 Argentine Grand Prix. As of the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, 105 drivers have been on pole position in the 1,073 Grands Prix since the first World Championship race, the 1950 British Grand Prix. Since 2014, the driver with the most pole positions in a season has been awarded the Pole Trophy. The inaugural Pole Trophy was won by Nico Rosberg, while Max Verstappen is the most recent recipient of the award with 10 poles in 2021.
|*||Driver has competed in the 2022 season|
|Formula One World Champion|
|Has competed in the 2022 season and a Formula One World Champion|
Most pole positions per seasonEdit
|Driver has competed in the 2022 season|
|Bold||Won the World Championship in the same year|
* Season still in progress.
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